“Near Death on the High Seas” Edited by Cecil Kuhne (Vintage, 2008)

Near Death on the High Seasstarstarstar

The sense of adventure is a facet of humanity, and while some choose to ignore it, others indulge in it: dabbling with the dangerous, playing with the portentous, and facing one’s fears.  Near Death on the High Seas is a collection of real life stories about people who strive for thrill and adventure, through the medium they love: a boat and the open sea.

Beginning with an inspiring foreword from the late William F. Buckley Jr., the first story begins simply about a man and his boat; having traveled the seas many times over, he is a skilled seamen but on this particular day there’s a storm that will give him a run for his money and leave his beloved boat in pieces, while he barely escapes with his life.  Provocative, descriptive, and well-written, the important thing to remember is that each of these stories actually happened, and while at times they seem to copy each other, these are real lives being brought close to the edge here, and in some cases where not all the characters survive, real people have sadly died in these catastrophic events.  Near Death on the High Seas also includes memorable and renowned high seas stories from Thor Heyerdahl on his Kon-Tiki traveling to Easter Island, as well as Sir Francis Chichester on his Gipsy Moth traveling around the world.

Near Death on the High Seas is a book that will take you across the icy cold seas of the world, through torrential storms and typhoons, as well as the horrors of the deeps; all from the comfort of the comfortable seat you choose to be sitting in at this moment.  The key is to remember that while these are incredibly written stories of daring and destruction, they are stories about real people who faced these real dangers for the thrill to be on the water in a boat.

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Originally written on March 15th 2008 ©Alex C. Telander.